The BBC's Future Involves Music Discovery, Other Channels on iPlayer, Kids Content and More

By Gary Cutlack on at

The BBC's director general has announced his new 10-year plan for the corporation, claiming it'll lead on investing in dramas, will launch a new channel for kids called iPlay and would like to investigate the world of music discovery.

The full report -- The Future of the BBC [PDF] -- is online now, with the key highlights plucked out in a speech delivered by DG Tony Hall. He says he wants the business to be more distinctive in future, and more open, plus there seems to be good news for those missing previous generations of highbrow arts content, with a promised future focus on creativity and ideas. The report says of the BBC of the 2020s:

We would become a platform for Britain’s institutions of ideas, our museums, theatres and festivals, our universities and research institutions. We would work better with our competitors. Local newspapers would be invited to provide BBC local services. We would open the iPlayer to other people’s programmes. We would put our technology and digital capabilities at the
service of the wider industry.

Which sounds quite exciting. As does the plan to effectively open-source access to iPlayer, which is described as:

In entertainment, we would create a managed platform. The iPlayer could offer access to content from other broadcasters or to new partners. This
would be more convenient for audiences, who could find more British programming in one place, and be able to use their data across all that expanded catalogue to find the best of those programmes just for them. The same will be true of iPlay, our proposed children’s service, where we would provide content from carefully chosen partners and give children much more scope to interact and create content.

And here's how it would change music, should it be allowed to carry on existing by the governments of the near future:

We must evolve our music offering so that it serves new audience needs and habits and allows us to remain a strong partner and contributor to the UK creative sector. To that end, we have developed a digital music proposal with the music industry, which builds on BBC Music’s Playlister. It would make the 50,000 tracks the BBC broadcasts every month available to listen online, for a limited period. Audiences would be able to access this music via playlists curated by the BBC, and they would be able to build their own playlists based on the music they hear and love on the BBC.

The corporation is also aiming to make cost savings of around 20 per cent, although specific plans to meet that target are yet to be outlined. It had better not think about closing BBC4, else there will be all sorts of petitions signed by middle aged men for whom documentaries about life in the 1970s are the only thing worth watching amid today's sea of risible celebrity gurning drivel. [BBC]